‘Indian Charlie’ Sues to Get Back on Track


'Indian Charlie' Sues to Get Back on Track

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

The publisher of the “Indian Charlie” newsletter has filed suit seeking to prevent Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s executive director from indefinitely denying him access to the Louisville, Ky., track.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the suit filed by attorneys for publisher Eddie Musselman, alleges Churchill (with its director of security, Robert King, also a defendant) and the KHRC are violating Musselman’s constitutionally protected property interests without due process. That includes his right to use his commission-approved vendor’s license.

Musselman has not been allowed at Churchill since a June 26 physical altercation with trainer Dale Romans and Romans’ life partner and assistant, Tammy Fox.

According to the suit, Keeneland barred Musselman from its property, including the horse sales, in the wake of Churchill’s formal ejection, the Courier-Journal reported. Advertising from sales consignors is a mainstay of the newsletter’s revenue, which is handed out for free and available online.

Musselman was suspended 30 days by the Churchill stewards for his role in the fight and was ordered to undergo anger manager management. No action was taken against Romans, and Fox received a 15-day suspension and was ordered into anger management.

The suit, filed by Louisville attorney Bob Heleringer and Las Vegas attorney Alan Pincus, says Musselman’s license was restored to good standing Aug. 11 after fulfilling the terms of the stewards’ ruling, the Courier-Journal reported. The newspaper said Heleringer asked KHRC executive director John Ward and the commission for a hearing to challenge the validity of Churchill’s indefinite ejection beyond the suspension Musselman had already served.

In documents filed as part of the suit, KHRC counsel responded that Churchill’s ejection of Musselman is separate from the stewards’ action, and was made by the track as a private company independent of the commission. The KHRC also contended there is no provision under Kentucky law for the commission to stay Churchill’s ejection of Musselman or to hold an administrative hearing on the matter, the newspaper reported.

The suit says Musselman’s concern is if he remains barred by Churchill on Jan. 1, when his 2014 license expires, that the commission can use that as reason to deny him a 2015 license.

Spokesmen for both Churchill Downs and the racing commission said they do not comment on pending litigation as a matter of policy, according to the Courier-Journal.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88835/indian-charlie-sues-to-get-back-on-track#ixzz3JhXXa616

Napravnik Among Five Woolf Award Finalists

Napravnik Among Five Woolf Award Finalists

Photo: Crawford Ifland – Rosie Napravnik

Veteran riders James Graham, Mike Luzzi, Leslie Mawing, and Corey Nakatani, along with the recently retired Rosie Napravnik are the 2015 finalists for the Santa Anita George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, the track announced Nov. 20.

The winner will be announced on HRTV in February following a vote of their peers nationwide. A trophy presentation is to follow in March at Santa Anita Park, which has held the Woolf ceremony since 1950.

The Woolf Award is presented to a different jockey each year, recognizing those riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The winner’s trophy is a replica of the life-sized statue of the legendary jockey, which adorns Santa Anita’s Paddock Gardens area.

Woolf, who died following a spill on Santa Anita’s clubhouse turn Jan. 3, 1946, was regarded as one of the top big-money jockeys of his era. Known affectionately as “The Iceman,” he was revered by his colleagues, members of the media, and fans across America as a fierce competitor and consummate professional who was at his best when the stakes were highest.

The 2015 Woolf ballot features five highly regarded riders who have plied their trade on both racing’s biggest and smaller stages with honor and distinction.

Graham is a 35-year-old native of Dublin, Ireland. He has established himself as one of the top jockeys in the Midwest.  A two-time leading rider (2011, 14) at Arlington International Race Course, Graham has consistently been among the leaders at the Chicago area track dating back to 2004. After breaking his maiden July 1, 2003 at River Downs near Cincinnati, he won his first stakes race aboard 2-year-old filly Berbatim in the Canterbury Park Lassie in 2004. Graham won his first grade I at Keeneland in 2011 aboard Hot Cha Cha in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.

America’s Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey in 1988, Luzzi has enjoyed a highly successful career with 3,420 winners through Nov. 19. A 45-year-old native of Wilmington, Del., Luzzi grew up near Delaware Park and was raised in part by his grandfather, legendary trainer Buddy Raines.  Two of Luzzi’s biggest early stakes winners were trained by Raines, as Timely Warning took both the 1991 Maryland Million Classic at Pimlico and the grade I Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont Park. A regular on the New York Racing Association circuit since 1994, Luzzi is a two-time winner (1994, 2001) of the prestigious Mike Venezia Memorial Award, an honor given annually to a New York-based jockey who exemplifies extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship.

A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Mawing became a jockey in the United States, breaking his maiden at age 20 at Les Boise Park in Boise, Idaho, on June 19, 1994. Currently based at Golden Gate Fields for the winter, Mawing is also leading rider at Emerald Downs, near Seattle. Emerald’s leading rider in both 2011 and 2014, Mawing registered one of the biggest wins of his career Aug. 24 when he rallied favored Stryker Phd from last to first to take the Longacres Mile (gr. III) for trainer Larry Ross.  Well-traveled and respected, Mawing also rode regularly at the Los Angeles County Fair in Southern California, as well as in Minnesota, Ohio, and West Virginia. Through Nov. 19, Mawing has 2,239 career wins.

Nakatani has been considered one of America’s top jockeys for the past 25 years, riding with a combination of intense desire and talent en route to 3,748 career winners through Nov. 19. His highlights include 10 Southern California riding titles and 10 Breeders’ Cup wins. Born in nearby Covina, Calif., the 44-year-old Nakatani, who had no previous racetrack background, began working with horses at age 16 and broke his maiden with his very first mount at Agua Caliente, Mexico, in 1988. A tremendous finisher, Nakatani is a great judge of pace and is considered by many to be one of the best grass riders in the country. He is the second leading all-time stakes rider at Del Mar.

Following her win aboard Untapable in this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Santa Anita Oct. 31, riding sensation Napravnik stunned the racing world by announcing on national television that she would retire from riding to “start a family” following the remaining Breeders’ Cup races the following day. Stating later that she was seven weeks pregnant, Napravnik said that she was looking forward to motherhood and her new role as an assistant to her husband, Thoroughbred trainer Joe Sharp, who is based in Kentucky. The 26-year-old Napravnik began riding at age 17 in Maryland; she retires with 1,878 wins from 9,715 mounts. Her major stakes wins include two Breeders’ Cup victories and two triumphs in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88829/napravnik-among-five-woolf-award-finalists#ixzz3JhUqpLYi

New York to Act on New Medication Rules


New York to Act on New Medication Rules

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

New York regulators are ready to consider final revisions to rules specifying allowable testing threshold levels for two dozen medications used to treat Thoroughbreds in advance of races.

The expected approval by the New York State Gaming Commission Nov. 24 comes a year after the agency first proposed the thresholds as adjuncts to the state’s existing “time-based” medication rules. In all, five equine drug rules are being considered.

The rule changes, based on proposals of national racing industry groups, are intended to “ensure that drugs will not be used in a manner that could endanger a horse and jockeys or manipulate the outcome of pari-mutuel horse races,” according to an agency document outlining the proposed rules.

The NYSGC is being asked to consider “per se” thresholds for 24 drugs, most identified by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, that set a specific floor above which a horse will be considered to test positive for prohibited levels. The move has been described as being akin to creating a version of a DWI-like minimum level for various drugs given to race horses.

The new thresholds will accompany long-held, time-based rules described by the agency as more simple instructions to trainers barring the presence of various drugs in a horse’s urine or blood for a set period before a race. Some of those rules date back to 1982.

The final set of rules, for instance, would create a threshold for use of acepromazine (10 nanograms per milliliter in urine), betamethasone (10 picograms per milliliter in plasma), and clenbuterol (140 picograms per milliliter in urine or at any level in plasma).

Another rule would ban a horse from racing for at least seven days following a joint injection of any corticosteroid, and three corticosteroids may only be injected into a joint: betamethasone and any formulations of methylprednisolone and triamcinolone.

Based on some industry group’s comments, such as those from The Jockey Club, a notice for the Nov. 24 NYSGC meeting said some of the medication rules proposed last November were revised in March. The agency notes that “national proponents of the thresholds abandoned the original concept of strictly prohibiting the presence of any other drugs in race-day samples.”

“Measures to limit therapeutic medications close to race day might severely reduce the number of horses shipped to race in New York, absent a consensus with other states,” the agency memo said.

Exceeding the new threshold levels for the various drugs would constitute an automatic rule violation, according to the final proposal under consideration.

The document states that national adoption of the drug thresholds makes it easier for trainers to work in New York and elsewhere.

“Although trainers who participate in other states are expressly not assured that the use of the 24 drugs at their own recommended withdrawal times will prevent the occurrence of a positive post-race test, trainers may rely on our time restrictions, when following accepted veterinary practices (e.g., clinical doses), to ensure their compliance with these thresholds in all states,” the agency document states.

Significantly, the package of final rules also addresses administration of methylprednisolone acetate.

“Rather than prohibit the use of this drug, which some veterinary practitioners believe is the best therapeutic option in some circumstances, a use restriction that the horse must test negative and be released to race by the stewards will limit the use of this drug to such circumstances and provide the (NYSGC) and regulated parties with a use restriction that is reasonable to apply,” the agency said.

NYSGC staff conducted a survey of horses in 2013 at New York Racing Association tracks and found that some had the drug in their system from anywhere from seven days to as many as 80 days after administration. The substance, known as Depo Medrol, could cause joint damage.

Given the difficulty in having a time restriction for the drug, the NYSGC rule will permit its use but a horse cannot run until it has tested negative for it.

The NYSGC last year initially proposed what the agency called strict prohibitions of the presence of any other corticosteroids in race-day samples “before the national proponents of the 24 drug thresholds abandoned their national support for a limit-of-detection threshold for all such ‘unapproved’ drugs.” As such, the NYSGC is being asked by staff to no longer consider final adoption of the proposed rule.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88836/new-york-to-act-on-new-medication-rules#ixzz3JhU2hthJ



Mike Puhich
© Horsephotos

By Steve Sherack

After just failing to reach his reserve when the bidding stalled at $145,000 at this year’s Barretts March Sale, the brain trust at Pegasus Training Center decided to hold on to Prime Engine (Northern Afleet) and prepare him for a late summer/early fall campaign. With a pair of daylight wins by a combined margin of 15 3/4 lengths–including Emerald’s Gottstein Futurity Sept. 28–the Dr. Mark DeDomenico colorbearer will put his unblemished record on the line in Saturday’s $1-million GIII Delta Downs Jackpot.

“We liked him and weren’t going to give him away and just decided to bring him back home and give him some time,” said Mike Puhich, trainer/director of horse operations at Pegasus.

The chestnut received the ultimate compliment from the chart caller earning an “In hand, eye catching” comment line after airing by 10 1/4 lengths as the even-money favorite in his Emerald debut Sept. 13, then returned on quick notice to easily capture his two-turn debut against five overmatched rivals in the Futurity. Subsequently transferred to Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Prime Engine has been lighting up the worktab at Santa Anita since, including a six-furlong bullet in 1:11 Nov. 2. Scratched from last weekend’s GIII Bob Hope S. at Del Mar, the $110,000 KEESEP graduate is listed at 8-1 on the morning-line for the Jackpot. Russell Baze has the mount.

“You’re coming from Emerald Downs, so you don’t know what he beat,” Puhich admitted. “We do have some nice horses up here, though. Looking at all of the other horses in Jackpot, I don’t know what they beat either. I think he’s a really good horse and fits with those guys. Jerry [Hollendorfer] wouldn’t be saying, ‘Let’s go,’ if he wasn’t. We’re all pretty excited about him.”

Prime Engine was also under consideration for the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but time wasn’t exactly on his side, Puhich reports.

“He had two quick races and already had experience going two turns and we thought, ‘Do we want to go to the Breeders’ Cup?’ It was probably a couple of weeks sooner than we liked, especially if you’re going to throw him to the wolves. If we had a couple more weeks with him, though, we definitely would’ve tried him in there. He was training that good.”

DeDomenico and Glen Todd’s Majestic Presence (Majestic Warrior) will accompany Prime Engine to Louisiana for the GIII Delta Downs Princess S. on the undercard. A smart maiden winner at Del Mar Aug. 13, she ran a better-than-it-looked fourth with a wide trip in the GI Chandelier S. Sept. 27, then never fired when ninth in a tricky renewal of the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 1. Training sharply for Hollendorfer in Arcadia in the interim, Majestic Presence adds blinkers for the Princess. Baze will ride.”I was down there last week when she worked with blinkers [in 1:00 4/5 Nov. 15] and it just looked like she was galloping around there,” Puhich commented. “We’re giving her another shot and tossing her last race out. If she runs to what our expectations are, she should get a good piece of it.”It’s been a fantastic 2014 season for Pegasus graduates on the racetrack. Millionaire Belle Gallantey (After Market)–a $30,000 purchase from the now-defunct Pegasus February 2-year-old Sale–posted wins in this term’s GI Delaware H. and GI Beldame S. before switching hands for $750,000 at the FTKNOV sale. Broken Sword (Broken Vow), a $60,000 PEGFEB graduate, came within a half-length when second-best in the GI Clement L. Hirsch S. at Del Mar Aug. 2. She also won last year’s GII Bayakoa S.Champion She’s a Tiger (Tale of the Cat); GISWs Shakin It Up (Midnight Lute) and Sweet Lulu (Mr. Greeley); graded winners Fury Kapcori (Tiznow); Hear the Ghost (Ghostzapper); Scherzinger (Tiz Wonderful); and Via Villaggio (Bernardini); and the promising Sam’s Sister (Brother Derek) are other standouts that have trained at DeDomenico’s state-of-the-art Redmond, Washington facility.

While the aforementioned She’s a Tiger brought $2.5 million to dissolve a partnership at the FTKNOV sale, Puhich was an active shopper on behalf of the preeminent heart surgeon and partners a few months earlier at Keeneland September, purchasing a total of 15 yearlings for $1,138,000.

“We kind of broke tradition [with our consignment at Barretts March] and our horse’s first breeze was their preview,” Puhich said. “We probably won’t send any to the [2-year-old] sales next year. We even talked about doing another one up here [at Pegasus], but we may wait until the following year–we’ve had three Grade I caliber horses come out of our sale with Belle Gallantey, Broken Sword and [2012 GI Hollywood Starlet S. runner-up and $95,000 PEGFEB graduate] Blonde Fog (Divine Park). We’ve got some really nice 2-year-olds out there right now too that are just getting ready to make some serious noise, so that should be some fun.”

With two live chances on the Jackpot card, the fun just might begin this weekend.

Churchill Cancels Again Due to Frozen Track

Kentucky Derby 140 1st turn

Unable to thaw its main track following a blast of winter weather, Churchill Downs has announced that it will cancel live racing for a second straight day Nov. 20.

The Louisville track missed a full card of action Nov. 19 due to icy conditions. This is the first time that a frozen racetrack has forced back-to-back full card cancellations at Churchill Downs since Nov. 23-24, 1970.

Despite efforts by the 26-person track maintenance team at Churchill Wednesday, training and the 10-race program scheduled for Thursday has been canceled because the one-mile dirt racetrack remains frozen.

The track maintenance team, led by senior director of track surfaces David Lehr and assistant track superintendent Jamie Richardson, continued their around-the-clock maintenance of the surface Wednesday to no avail. Temperatures climbed into the 40s Wednesday but sunshine was minimal and southwest winds gusted as high as 30 miles per hour, which deterred their efforts to thaw the main track through constant harrowing and grading.

“We had hoped to make significant progress on the track today but the strong winds were no help and by late afternoon the track had refrozen,” said track president Kevin Flanery. “A suitable cushion is imperative and we haven’t been able to get there because Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. The ground temperature is significantly cooler than the air temp, and even with all of our team’s effort we can’t get the cushion to dry out evenly to provide a suitable racing surface for our athletes. The health and safety of our horses and jockeys remains paramount.”

The National Weather Service forecast for Louisville called for overnight temperatures to fall to a low of 23, with a 20% chance of snow showers between 9 p.m. and midnight, which meant there was little chance of significant improvement until well into Thursday. The forecast for Thursday calls for mostly sunny skies with a high near 33 and a west wind of 7 to 11 mph.

Horses have been unable to train on the dirt surface at Churchill Downs since Tuesday thanks to an early winter blast of three inches of snow the prior morning and frigid temperatures for more than a week. Ten-race programs were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday at 12:40 p.m. EST.

The average temperature in Louisville this time of the year is typically in the upper 50s.

Churchill Downs intends to stage a 10-race card Friday at 12:40 p.m. EST. Friday’s high is forecasted for 38 with mostly sunny skies. The temperature should climb to a more seasonal 52 on Saturday when an 11-race program, highlighted by the $100,000 Cardinal Handicap (gr. III), is scheduled. Closing day of the 26-day fall meet is Sunday, Nov. 30.

Cancellations of Churchill Downs racing programs due to weather conditions are rare. Wednesday’s cancellation was the first for the fall meet since a wintry mix caused a frozen track on Nov. 13, 1986. Thursday’s cancellation is the 20th documented weather-related cancellation at the racetrack.

While there is no live racing Thursday, simulcast wagering on other tracks around North America will be available at Trackside at Churchill Downs. Admission will be free Thursday and admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m.

Churchill Downs will contact groups and individual patrons who had purchased seating for Thursday’s racing program to reschedule their visit.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88812/churchill-cancels-again-due-to-frozen-track#ixzz3JblyvPt2

Take Charge Brandi Heads Delta Princess

Three weeks after her upset victory in the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Take Charge Brandi will try to secure another lucrative purse when she faces a full field of 2-year-old fillies in the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, Nov. 22.

Willis Horton’s Take Charge Brandi scored a front-running victory in the Juvenile Fillies, holding off Top Decile by a half-length under Victor Espinoza. That victory marked the biggest upset win by a female in Breeders’ Cup history as Take Charge Brandi scored at odds of 61-1.

The well-traveled Take Charge Brandi will be starting at a different track for a fifth straight race and for a fourth straight time will be picking up a different jockey. This time Paco Lopez is scheduled to ride the daughter of Giant’s Causeway  .

Take Charge Brandi showed promise in winning her maiden special weight debut by 2 1/2 lengths June 22 at Churchill Downs and finishing second in a July 18 allowance race at Saratoga Race Course. But she then lost her next three starts—all graded stakes—by a combined 36 1/2 lengths before turning things around in the Juvenile Fillies for Racing Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Take Charge Brandi is scheduled to start in the one-mile race from post six in the expected field of 10. Also entered are a pair of Larry Jones-trained also-eligibles in Divine Dawn and Lovely Maria.

Take Charge Brandi could be tested early by JRita Young Thoroughbreds’ Vivian Da Bling, who enters off a front-running score in the My Trusty Cat Stales Oct. 24 at Delta for trainer W. Bret Calhoun. A winner of three of four starts, including two stakes wins, Vivian Da Bling finished ahead of Take Charge Brandi in this year’s Adirondack Stakes (gr. II), where she finished fourth and Take Charge Brandi was fifth.

Whisper Hill Farm and GoldMark Farm’s Skipalute will make her two-turn debut in the Delta Downs Princess off a runner-up finish in the Matron Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 5 at Belmont Park.

A year after winning the Delta Princess with Tepin, trainer Mark Casse will send out Gary Barber’s Miss Mandate, a Pioneerof the Nile   filly who won a maiden special weight race Oct. 24 at Santa Anita Park.

Delta Downs Princess S. (gr. III)

Delta Downs Racetrack, Saturday, November 22, 2014, Race 6
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $400,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 3:43 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Weight Trainer
1 Danessa Deluxe (KY) Jesus M. Rios 117 Antonio Sano
2 Lil Super Bear (KY) Quincy Hamilton 119 Austin Gustafson
3 Temper Mint Patty (NY) Joel Rosario 119 Dale L. Romans
4 Miss Mandate (FL) Shaun Bridgmohan 117 Mark E. Casse
5 Skipalute (VA) Corey J. Lanerie 117 Eddie Kenneally
6 Take Charge Brandi (KY) Paco Lopez 122 D. Wayne Lukas
7 Vivian Da Bling (LA) Chris R. Rosier 119 W. Bret Calhoun
8 Spooled (IN) Fernando De La Cruz 119 Juan D. Arias
9 Sharla Rae (KY) Kyle Frey 119 Leandro Mora
10 Majestic Presence (KY) Russell A. Baze 117 Jerry Hollendorfer
11 Divine Dawn (KY) Kerwin D. Clark 117 J. Larry Jones
12 Lovely Maria (KY) Kerwin D. Clark 117 J. Larry Jones

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88801/take-charge-brandi-heads-delta-princess#ixzz3JSqbJJGs

Mr. Z Tops Competitive Delta Jackpot Field

Mr. Z Tops Competitive Delta Jackpot Field


Zayat Stables’ Mr. Z, coming off a fifth-place finish in the Nov. 1 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), heads a group of 12 plus two also-eligibles for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) to be run Nov. 22 at Delta Downs.

The winner of the Delta Jackpot will earn $600,000 and 10 points toward a starting spot in the gate for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Trained by Hall of Fame horseman D. Wayne Lukas, who also has Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Take Charge Brandi in the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) on the same card, 2-year-old Mr. Z is in search of his second victory from six starts.

The Malibu Moon   colt has not won since breaking his maiden June 28 at Churchill Downs, but was runner-up in the Sanford Stakes (gr. III) in July, the Toyota Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II) in August, and the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (gr. II) in October. His other start was a fifth in September in the Iroquois (gr. III). Paco Lopez rides from post 3 as part of an impost of 117 pounds; Mr. Z is favored on the morning line at 5-2.

Highweight in the field of juveniles going 1 1/16 miles is Conquest Stables’ 4-1 third choice Conquest Tsunami, winner of the Oct. 26 Street Sense Stakes at Churchill for trainer Mark Casse. The Ontario-bred son of Stormy Atlantic   carries 122 pounds including jockey Shaun Bridgmohan from post 4.

Conquest Tsunami rebounded from his only loss in six starts, a fifth in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, to take the one-mile Street Sense in front-running fashion by 2 3/4 lengths. Undefeated at Woodbine, he won both the Colin Stakes and Victoria Stakes there earlier this season.

Second choice at 7-2 on the morning line is Thoroughbred Champion Training Center’s Curlin   colt Golden Actor, an Ignacio Roncancio trainee who took the Oct. 25 Jean Lafitte Stakes going a mile at Delta by 4 1/4 lengths after earning his first win at second asking on the front end Oct. 13 in a mile maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park West.

Another of interest is Reddam Racing’s California shipper Wake Up Nick, a son of California stallion Cindago who streaked to five straight victories before missing the Nov. 1 Golden State Juvenile Stakes at Santa Anita Park by 1 1/4 closing lengths. The colt, who will start in the name of Leandro Mora, won the Barretts Juvenile Stakes, I’m Smokin Stakes, Graduation Stakes, and Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes earlier this year after breaking his maiden at first asking by 9 1/4 lengths against his fellow Cal-breds.

DP Racing’s undefeated Ocho Ocho Ocho, to be ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, also comes in from California to stretch out for the first time. The 6-1 fourth choice on the morning line, this Street Sense   colt aired by 5 3/4 lengths in an off-the-turf edition of the Nov. 1 Juvenile Turf Sprint going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita for trainer James Cassidy after breaking his maiden going 5 1/2 furlongs at the Arcadia oval Oct. 11.

Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer sends in an undefeated runner as well—Mark DeDomenico’s Prime Engine, a son of Northern Afleet   who has taken two in a row at Emerald Downs. The colt was a 5 1/2-length winner of the Sept. 28 Gottstein Futurity going 1 1/16 miles and at one point held an eight-length lead after taking over from pacesetter Trackattacker. Prime Engine drew the rail and will have Russell Baze in the irons.

Also enetered is P.R. Racing’s Saratoga Heater, winner of the $150,000 Bertram Bongard for New York-breds on Sept. 21 at Belmont Park in his most recent outing for trainer Al Stall Jr. Joel Rosario comes in to ride the Temple City   colt.

The Jackpot and Princess are part of a pick four with a guaranteed pool of $200,000. The Jackpot goes with an approximate post time of 4:15 p.m. Central, preceded by the Princess at 3:43 p.m.

Delta Downs Jackpot S. (gr. III)

Delta Downs Racetrack, Saturday, November 22, 2014, Race 7
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $1,000,000
  • 2 yo
  • 4:15 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Weight Trainer
1 Prime Engine (KY) Russell A. Baze 119 Jerry Hollendorfer
2 Dekabrist (KY) Jesus M. Rios 119 Gennadi Dorochenko
3 Mr. Z (KY) Paco Lopez 117 D. Wayne Lukas
4 Conquest Tsunami (ON) Shaun Bridgmohan 122 Mark E. Casse
5 Saratoga Heater (NY) Joel Rosario 119 Albert M. Stall, Jr.
6 Golden Actor (KY) Jose Antonio Gallego 119 Ignacio Roncancio
7 Red Button (KY) Tyler Baze 122 Mark Glatt
8 Wake Up Nick (CA) Mario Gutierrez 119 Leandro Mora
9 Far Right (KY) Corey J. Lanerie 117 Ron Moquett
10 Ocho Ocho Ocho (KY) Mike E. Smith 119 James M. Cassidy
11 Unblunted (KY) Joseph Talamo 122 Michael W. McCarthy
12 Two Six Wins (KY) Martin A. Pedroza 117 Michael Pender

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88799/mr-z-tops-competitive-delta-jackpot-field#ixzz3JSpphBnG

Historical Racing Bill Introduced in Illinois

Historical Racing Bill Introduced in Illinois

A Republican lawmaker from southwest Illinois has proposed a plan allowing betting on old races as a way to boost the state’s horse racing industry.

State Rep. Dwight Kay, of Glen Carbon, introduced legislation the week of Nov. 9  allowing so-called “historical racing” machines, according to a story published Nov. 16 by the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers. The terminals, which resemble video lottery machines, allow betting on previously run races that are stripped of identifying markers.

Kay said the generated revenue could help tracks, like Fairmount Park in Collinsville, as legislators take another look at a statewide gambling expansion. “They are trying to stay alive,” Kay said.

Modeled after Oaklawn Park‘s Instant Racing gaming, historical race wagering involves wagers placed through machines that base payouts on a pari-mutuel formula. The outcome of the game is determined by the finish of a previously run horse race displayed in a small window on the machine. The player does not know the identity of the race nor the outcome before making the wager.

Historical racing has proven popular at Kentucky Downs and Ellis Park in Kentucky, where the racing commission has deemed it pari-mutuel because it involves a common pooling of wagers to determine payouts. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has implemented regulations dealing with historical racing, but a judge recently ruled the Texas Racing Commission exceeded its authority by clearing the way for historical racing at dog and horse tracks.

Proponents of the idea have said the additional money can help struggling racetracks. But opponents who worry about social costs of expanded gambling have labeled the machines as “horse slots.”

In Illinois, previous efforts to expand gambling statewide have failed. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has vetoed plans adding more casinos and slots over concerns about ethical safeguards.

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, who takes office in January, said he doesn’t like the idea of slot machines at Chicago’s major airports but wouldn’t oppose adding casinos if local communities support them.

Last year a bill calling for five new casinos fizzled after the Illinois Gaming Board questioned if Chicago would have the authority to oversee its own casino. The bill’s backer has since tried to settle the issue and others by presenting the option of separating out the Chicago casino from four proposed locations in Chicago’s south suburbs, and the counties of Lake, Winnebago, and Vermilion.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88772/historical-racing-bill-introduced-in-illinois#ixzz3JQHJbFjZ

Record Number of Claiming Crown Nominations

Record Number of Claiming Crown Nominations

Photo: Coglianese Photos – Major Marvel at the 2013 Claiming Crown

A record 314 horses were nominated to the 16th annual Claiming Crown, the $1 million Dec. 6 day of racing for the country’s top claiming horses being hosted by Gulfstream Park for the third consecutive year.

Created in 1999 to honor blue-collar horses that comprise the largest segment of horse racing, the eight-race Claiming Crown will help launch Gulfstream’s 76th “Championship” meet and will feature nominations from 128 trainers throughout the East Coast and Midwest.

“We’re very happy with the record response from horsemen to this year’s Claiming Crown,” said Gulfstream vice president of racing P.J. Campo. “Nominations have grown in the three years since the Claiming Crown has been held at Gulfstream by nearly 100. With the Claiming Crown being held on the opening day of our Championship meet, we expect an exciting day of racing and a great crowd.”

Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the event’s all-time leading owners with 12 Claiming Crown victories, nominated 12 horses. The Ramseys captured two races last year with Deanaallen’skitten in the Tiara and Major Marvel in the Emerald.

Mike Maker, whose 12 victories lead all trainers in the Claiming Crown, has 28 horses nominated, 11 of those for the Ramseys, who teamed up to win four Claiming Crown races in 2012. Maker saddled Major Marvel to victory in last year’s Emerald.

Other trainers to nominate horses include Hall of Famer Nick Zito, Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown, Wesley Ward, Eddie Kenneally, Marty Wolfson, Eddie Plesa Jr., Tom Amoss, David Jacobson, Dale Romans, David Fawkes, and Brad Cox.

Two changes were made to this year’s Claiming Crown. The Iron Lady has been replaced with the $110,000 Canterbury, a five-furlong turf sprint for horses that have been entered to be claimed for $25,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2013. The $110,000 Glass Slipper for females 3 and up was changed from seven furlongs to a one-turn mile for horses entered to be claimed for $12,500 rather than $16,000.

“I want to thank all the owners and trainers that nominated horses for the 2014 Claiming Crown,” said Phil Hanrahan, chief executive officer of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. “I also want to thank the fans and handicappers who have supported the Claiming Crown in the past. With 314 nominations this year, Claiming Crown 2014 promises to offer an exciting day at the races.”

Anchoring the Claiming Crown card is the $200,000 Jewel for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream’s main track for horses that have started for a claiming price of $35,000 or less since Jan. 1, 2013. A total of 39 horses were nominated for the Jewel including Catholic Cowboy, one of four horses nominated by Zito, who won last year’s Jewel with Nevada Kid.

The most popular race among horsemen was the $125,000 Emerald, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for horses that have raced for a claiming price of $25,000 or lower, which received 69 nominations. Among them are North Star Boy and Best Actor, who ran 2-3 behind Major Marvel last year.

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88778/record-number-of-claiming-crown-nominations#ixzz3JQGWK2M8


Napravnik’s Career Celebrated at Churchill


Napravnik's Career Celebrated at Churchill

Photo: Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs Photo

Rosie Napravnik was celebrated at Churchill Downs.

Churchill Downs and the city of Louisville celebrated the extraordinary career of jockey Rosie Napravnik Nov. 15 after she announced her retirement earlier this month.

Napravnik is the first female rider to capture the Kentucky Oaks in its 140-year history as well as the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (all gr. I). She was honored following Saturday’s sixth race, which was named in her honor as “The Run for the Rosie.” Napravnik was given a special video presentation by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who officially declared it “Rosie Napravnik Day” in the city of Louisville.
Napranik made history by winning the 2012 Kentucky Oaks on Brereton Jones’ Believe You Can and landed this year’s edition aboard Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapable. Following her victory on Untapable in the Oct. 31 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I), the 26-year-old New Jersey native publicly announced her pregnancy and retirement. Her career also includes a victory aboard Starlight Racing and Coolmore partners’ Shanghai Bobby   in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
“Thank you to Churchill Downs and thank you to everybody for being here to make this day so special,” Napravnik said. “I feel so honored because Churchill has definitely been the site of some of the most memorable moments in my career. I rode my first Breeders’ Cup mount here in 2010 (Forever Together in 2008 Filly & Mare Turf) and first Kentucky Derby in 2011 on Pants On Fire. My first Kentucky Oaks win on Believe You Can in was absolutely one of the most memorable moments of my career. Finishing fifth in the Derby on Mylute, I felt close enough to almost taste it. And Untapable will definitely go down as my favorite horse of all time.”
Napravnik also received the honor of Kentucky Colonel and was presented with a plaque by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Finally, the rider was honored by an additional video presentation that highlighted the most memorable moments of her illustrious career at Churchill Downs.
“I want to thank the guys that are down here, most of the jockeys, for helping me become a better rider in a great colony,” a teary-eyed Napravnik said. “Thanks to the owners and trainers that have supported me throughout: Jack Wolf being one of them, Mr. Ken Ramsey, Winchell Farm, Mr. Ron Winchell, and Brereton Jones are just a few to mention of some of my favorite horses here at Churchill and all over the country.”
Napravnik said she plans to always remain close to the Thoroughbred industry and since her retirement has been assisting husband/trainer Joe Sharp at Churchill Downs.
“I don’t feel like I’m leaving,” Napravnik said. “I’ll be around and I’ve been at the races a lot in the last two weeks; I’ll just be in a different outfit. I’ll always be close to this industry and the horses. Again I just want to thank the fans for all their support and everybody here at Churchill Downs, thank you.”

Read more on BloodHorse.com: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88766/napravniks-career-celebrated-at-churchill#ixzz3JHh9giJG